Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall is here
I must apologize to my faithful followers of this blog.  I've been so busy that I just noticed that it's been almost a month since I've blogged.  I promise on my honor to blog more often.

Temperatures indicate that fall has arrived.  The temperatures are falling regularly into the 50s with promises of 40s next week.  Gone are the 90 degree days of summer and 70s rule.  The trees are beginning the leaf shedding process and are most likely glad that the long hot dry summer is over.
Many projects of the summer have been left undone.  The fire pit that I've been working on for a couple years has been greatly neglected this year.  With the acquisition of the new garden, some projects flourish and others have been neglected.  Perhaps during the fall season more work will be completed on the fire pit.
Transition of the back yard raised beds will be on the list as well.  Next year the raised beds will be beds to grow the plants for the bigger garden and maybe a bed for salads.
This last weekend a friend and I traveled about two hours away from where we live and made plans to help with some tree cleanup.  We traveled there on Friday; worked all day Saturday; and came back home on Sunday.  It gave us a full day for tree work.
Early Saturday we started with stump removal.  Well, that is cutting stumps off at ground level. After lunch we set out to clean up a tree brush area in the camp ground.  This is a picture of the area when we started.  There were two widow makers (hanging branches) and lots of major branches and brush on the ground.
After the day was finished, it looked fairly decent.  I have to say that I was just a bit tired and glad that we were finished.  The pile you see in the picture is one of the two piles.  The other pile might have been just a smidgen bigger.  It really did clean up nice.  The owner of the place of prayer and refuge said that we could come back any time.
Both Vince and I are early to rise so we were on the road home by 6:30am on Sunday.  A great breakfast at the Summer Kitchen was a fun way to end this adventure.
Monday was another work day about an hour to the west of where I live at a non profit organization.
Steve, Al, and myself had five windows to replace in an old house that the non profit organization uses for their headquarters.  I'm about seven feet up from the ground pulling out a rope pulley from the window casing.  The old windows had weights in the wall to help with opening and closing of the windows.  The scariest window we replaced was one that measured five feet by six feet.  Everything went off without a hitch and all the windows were installed by noon.  We installed a dishwasher, a refrigerator ice maker water line, and helped with preparing some bulk mailing during the afternoon hours.  We got a lot accomplished.
We received 1.44 inches of rain a couple days ago.  That should really kick start the grass growing again.  I'm really going to have to get busy with yard cleanup.  I call the weeds in the picture above the "Nebraska Sequoia Weeds" because they are huge.  These weeds can grow in dead clay dirt with out any rain and still grow very large.  I'm sizing them up to plan how to cut them down with my axe.  Yes, they really are that big.  The stump at the base is two to three inches in diameter.  They did come down easier than a tree.
I hit the mother load of mulch for Terra Nova Gardens. This is two of the big square bales of what I thought was hay and turned out to be bromegrass hay.  That's even better for mulch. I watched the farmer load the hay onto a big semi truck and hall the load away.  All but these two bales.  One had broke which he just moved to the side and I believe he just didn't have room for the other.  These bales have been sitting beside the road for about four years.  They are far past being any good for live stock feed.  My thought was to use this for mulch in the garden.  It was difficult to track down any one that could give me permission to haul it away.  Finally one day I came upon a big green farm looking tractor mowing down the weeds by the road.  It didn't look like a city machine so I took a chance and asked the operator if he was the farmer of the land.  He said that he worked for the farmer and when I asked if I could use the hay on my garden, he said that I could. 
This is about three loads and much more is covered at this point in time.  I discovered that the bottom layer of about a foot to eighteen inches has almost turned to compost from sitting the four years in the weather.  That will go on the main part of the garden.
Even my daughter has gotten involved with Terra Nova Gardens.  She works for Walgreens and finds store bargains when they come on sale.  At the end of the season the manager was going to toss the garden seeds and write off the loss.  My daughter talked him into selling them to her for a penny a package.  She bought 250 vegetable seed packages for my next years planting.
What a stash it turned out to be.  I will have to purchase popcorn as my grandson wants to plant some next year.  He planted sweet corn this year but I was too busy with fence building and weed control to protect it from the critters.  He did get about four ears before the wild critters moved in and cleaned it out.  Next year we have a plan.
The tomatoes are just about done for the year and the green peppers never really got started.  The eggplant was a success but the squash succumbed to the dreaded vine borer.  My zucchini plan that I planted in July as an experiment circumvented the vine borer and did great until the deer ate it off most of the leaves.  (big sigh)  I didn't get my gate in place soon enough.  Next year we have a plan.  The gate is now in place and working.  Now the foot opening at the bottom of the north side of the fenced garden needs to be secured and the fenced garden will be finished.
Well, that's enough for now.  I hope you have had a great summer and will be having a wonderful fall season.  Back at you later.


  1. A penny per envelope of seed?! S C O R E ! ! !

    You're certainly doing a lot of good work. Following Missouri in the news. Perhaps some day your Terra Nova Gardens will be in the news.

    Are you able to have a winter garden?

  2. Great score on the hay/compost. That will really send that garden into overdrive!

    It's been a tough year in the garden, but as gardeners, we all know that NEXT YEAR will be better!

  3. Lucky you, a huge bale of hay. I am needing mulch but can never be lucky to be in a lucky place and a lucky time.
    My tomatoes were a total bust, my heirlooms failed, but my little patio tomatoes I have in my ghetto buckets snapped out of failure when it started cooling off in the evenings, and I am getting nice tomtoes to finish out what Romas I got before we went into total drought mode here. My summer squash and winter squash did fairly well, until the borers finished off everything, beans were a failure also. I started a ghetto bucket of lettuces and greens. So, it should be ok, then I will cover with greenhouse plastic and should be ok clear into early winter.
    We all have plans but it sometimes never gets to getting done, something takes priority over others. You will get it done.
    Everything looks really good, Dave for a first year. You have come a long way.
    Have a wonderful week.

  4. PS
    The seeds your daughter got are great. I get most of the same brand of seeds from the dollar store, and they have out-proformed some of my more expensive seeds I have ordered. What a aesome buy!

  5. I didn't go to school, sorry about the typo's.

  6. What a lovely blog. I really enjoyed looking at these photos too. Nicely done. Thanks!

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  7. Sharon, Thanks for stopping by and leaving such an encouragng comment. I try to keep the blog as interesting as I can. Photos really add allot to the posts without writing too many words.

    Do you have a garden where you live? Do you live in America or somewhere else?

    Have a great day in what ever you do.